November 7, 2014 / 11:19 PM / 5 years ago

WestJet to reduce fares by 15 percent on several routes

A Westjet Boeing 737-700 takes off at the International Airport in Calgary, Alberta, May 3, 2011. REUTERS/Todd Korol

(Reuters) - WestJet Airlines Ltd, Canada’s No. 2 airline, said on Friday it would slash its fares for economy passengers on several routes by as much as 15 percent.

The Calgary-based airline is growing beyond its roots as a no-frills domestic carrier, boosting capacity and adding more international flights.

WestJet announced a new fee for checked bags on Sept. 15, a move the company said would boost revenue and earnings. But a day later, Chief Executive Gregg Saretsky said the new fee would make it possible to cut fares.

Fees linked to baggage, advance seat selection and other options are a growing source of revenue for airlines.

“This pricing experiment allows us to see if lowering sale fares stimulates more demand and fills seats that would have otherwise gone empty at departure,” said Bob Cummings, WestJet’s executive vice-president, sales, marketing and guest experience.

Reporting by Sneha Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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